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"Bush's stint in Guard scrutinized": REBUTTAL TO TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST HIT PIECE
Dallas Morning News | July 4, 1999 | Pete Slover, George Kuempel

Posted on 02/03/2004 2:24:49 PM PST by MikeA

With the Vietnam War raging, 21-year-old George W. Bush wanted to join the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. He offered no aviation experience but cited his work as a ranch hand, oil field "roustabout" and sporting goods salesman.

He passed the written test required for pilot trainees. Among the results: He showed below-average potential as a would-be flier but scored high as a future leader.

Although Mr. Bush's unit in Texas had a waiting list for many spots, he was accepted because he was one of a handful of applicants willing and qualified to spend more than a year in active training, and extra shifts after training, flying single-seat F-102 fighter jets.

Once he was in, Guard officials sought to capitalize on his standing as the son of a congressman.

A 1970 Guard news release featured Mr. Bush as "one member of our younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed.

"On, he gets high, all right, but not from narcotics," it said.

"Fighters are it," Mr. Bush is quoted as saying. "I've always wanted to be a fighter pilot, and I wouldn't want to fly anything else."

Such are the details that emerge from a review of Mr. Bush's service record by The Dallas Morning News, along with interviews with Guard leaders, former colleagues and state officials familiar with that unit.

Mr. Bush, 52, now the Republican front-runner for president, has repeatedly denied suggestions by political rivals that he received preferential treatment to get into the Guard - widely seen as a haven from which enlistees were unlikely to be shipped to Vietnam.

As evidence he wasn't dodging combat, Mr. Bush has pointed to his efforts to try to volunteer for a program that rotated Guard pilots to Vietnam, although he wasn't called.

"There was no special treatment," he said.

Mr. Bush said he took flying seriously. "You will die in your airplane if you didn't practice, and I wasn't interested in dying," he said.

Records provided to The News by Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, show that the unit Mr. Bush signed up for was not filled. In mid-1968, the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, based in Houston, had 156 openings among its authorized staff of 925 military personnel.

Of those, 26 openings were for officer slots, such as that filled by Mr. Bush, and 130 were for enlisted men and women. Also, several former Air Force pilots who served in the unit said that they were recruited from elsewhere to fly for the Texas Guard.

Officers who supervised Mr. Bush and approved his admission to the Guard said they were never contacted by anyone on Mr. Bush's behalf.

"He didn't have any strings pulled, because there weren't any strings to pull," said Leroy Thompson of Brownwood, who commanded the squadron that kept the waiting list for the guard at Ellington Air Force Base. "Our practices were under incredible scrutiny then. It was a very ticklish time."

Fellow members of the Bush unit said they knew of his background.

U.S. Rep. George Bush was at his son's side when he was made an officer in the Guard. The elder Mr. Bush, a former World War II pilot, later spoke at his son's graduation from flight school.

David Hanifl of La Crescent, Minn., an Air Force regular who went through pilot training in Georgia with George W. Bush, said the flight instructors were eager to fly with the Texan.

"He didn't get any preferential treatment, but some of the instructors liked the idea of scheduling him to fly with them because of his connections," he said.

Mr. Hanifl said it was somewhat unusual for a Guardsman to be included in the flight class with Air Force regulars.

"You had to have clout to get that type of assignment," he said. He added that Mr. Bush was a good pilot and did not seek any favors.

Also getting into the Bush unit in 1968 was Lloyd Bentsen III, a recent graduate of Stanford University business school whose father was a former congressman later elected Democratic U.S. senator from Texas.

The waiting list

According to several former officers, the openings in the unit were filled from a waiting list kept in the base safe of Rufus G. Martin, then an Air National Guard personnel officer.

In a recent interview, Mr. Martin of San Antonio said the list was kept on computer and in a bound volume, which was periodically inspected by outside agencies to make sure the list was kept properly.

Mr. Bush said he sought the Guard position on his own, before graduating from Yale University in 1968. He personally met with Col. Walter B. Staudt, commander of the 147th group.

In an interview, Mr. Bush said he walked into Col. Staudt's Houston office and told him he wanted to be a fighter pilot.

"He told me they were looking for pilots," Mr. Bush said. He said he was told that there were five or six flying slots available, and he got one of them.

While Guard slots generally were coveted, pilot positions required superior education, physical fitness and the willingness to spend more than a year in full-time training.

"If somebody like that came along, you'd snatch them up," said the former commander, who retired as a general. "He took no advantage. It wouldn't have made any difference whether his daddy was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Bobby Hodges, the group's operations officer, and others familiar with Guard rules said Mr. Bush made it to the top of the short list of candidates who could pass both the written officer test and a rigorous flight physical to qualify for the three to four annual pilot training "quotas" allotted to the unit.

Mr. Hodges and Gen. Staudt are the two surviving members of the military panel that reviewed and approved Mr. Bush's officer commission.

Most of those wanting to get into the Guard at that time, they said, didn't want to put in the full year of active service that was required to become a pilot.

Pilot aptitude test

Records from his military file show that in January 1968, after inquiring about Guard admission, Mr. Bush went to an Air Force recruiting office near Yale, where he took and passed the test required by the Air Force for pilot trainees. His score on the pilot aptitude section, one of five on the test, was in the 25th percentile, the lowest allowed for would-be fliers.

Ralph J. Ianuzzi, a newly minted Air Force captain, supervised administration of the test and signed Mr. Bush's score sheet, an event of which he had no recollection.

The pilot portion of the exam included tasks such as identifying the angle of a plane in flight after being shown the view from the cockpit and figuring out which way a gear in a machine would turn in response to another gear's being turned.

"That score for pilot seems low. I made that, and I'm dyslexic," Mr. Ianuzzi, a retired FBI agent who never earned his wings but said it was significant that Mr. Bush did. "He passed the most important test. He flew the plane."

On the "officer quality section," designed to measure intangible traits such as leadership, Mr. Bush scored better than 95 percent of those taking the test.

It's impossible to compare Mr. Bush's score on the test to scores of other pilot candidates, because Air Force historians say no records survive of average scores for those accepted to pilot training.

Pilot training

After completing basic training in San Antonio in August 1968, he helped out aircraft mechanics at Ellington until that November, when a pilot-training slot came open.

He was promoted to second lieutenant and began a 13-month pilot training program at Moody Air Force Base, in Georgia.

He was the only Guardsman among the 70 or so officers from other branches of the military who began the training.

Under the terms of his contract with the military, if Mr. Bush had failed to complete pilot school, he would have been required to serve the Guard in some other capacity, to enter the draft, or to enlist in another branch of the military.

After passing flight training, Mr. Bush was schooled for several more months at Ellington, and in March 1970 began flying "alerts," the name used to describe the 147th's mission of guarding gulf coast borders against foreign attack.

In those days, just five years after the Cuban missile crisis, the 147th kept at least two fighters ready to scramble, round-the-clock, guarding Texas oil fields and refineries against airstrikes.

"It's kind of a non-threatening way to do your military, get paid well for some long shifts, and feel good about your own involvement," said Douglas W. Solberg, now an airline pilot, offering his reasons for joining the 147th and serving with Mr. Bush after an Air Force flying stint. "It was a cushy way to be a patriot."

A former non-commissioned officer who worked on planes and supervised other ground crews at Ellington said Mr. Bush was not a silver-spoon snob or elitist, unlike some former Air Force fliers.

"I remember him coming down, kicking the tires, washing the windows, whatever," said Joe H. Briggs, now of Houston. "I'm probably one of the few people around who'll admit I voted for Clinton. But I'll pull for this guy for president."

No overseas duty

Mr. Bush's application for the Guard included a box to be checked specifying whether he did or did not volunteer for overseas duty. His includes a check mark in the box not wanting to volunteer for such an assignment.

But several personnel officers said that part of the application for domestic Guard units routinely would be filled out that way by a clerk typist, then given to the applicant to sign.

Mr. Bush has said that he signed up for but lacked the number of flying hours to participate in a program called the Palace Alert, which eventually rotated nine pilots from his unit into duty in Southeast Asia from 1969 to 1970.

His signup and willingness to participate was confirmed by several of his colleagues and superiors, who remembered the effort as brash but admirable.

"The more experienced pilots were shaking their heads, saying, "He doesn't even know where to park the planes,' " said Albert C. Lloyd, then head of personnel for the Texas Air National Guard.

Some attention has also focused on Mr. Bush's departure from the service. Under his original oath, he was obligated to serve in the Guard until May 1974. Instead, he was allowed to leave in October 1973 to attend Harvard Business School.

Former Guard officials and members of Mr. Bush's unit said that release, seven months early, was not unusual for the Guard. Mr. Bush's unit was changing airplanes at the time, from the single-seat F-102 to the dual-seat F-101. They said it made little sense to retrain him for just a few months' service, and letting him go freed spots for the Guard to recruit F-101 pilots from the Air Force and elsewhere.

TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: awol; bush; bushawol; bushguardservice; deserter; gwb2004; napalminthemorning; tang
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-109 next last's starting already. The Democrats suddenly feel they can attack Bush's military service and do so heedless of truth and facts, all because they have a Jane Fonda disciple they can claim is a Vietnam "war hero" who is about to be their candidate.

The article below refutes all the shop worn slanders being resurrected from the 2000 campaign by the Democrats which claims: A) Bush got preferential treatment to enter the Air National Guard B) That he got into the Guard to escape Vietnam service C) That he was AWOL during that time D) That he was given preferential treatment in being let out of the Guard early.

These are vicious and baseless lies being perpetuated by Democrats now that it appears they'll have a Vietnam veteran as their candidate (but forget the fact that he and they called the war "evil" and how can one now claim to be a war hero in a war they once said was so entirely wrong? And of course forget the fact that Vietnam service, not to mention outright draft dodging, was irrelevent to the DemoCRITES when it was Clinton).

The media has willingly and slavishly picked up this re-tread slander from the 2000 campaign in the service of their Democratic collegues and are AGAIN propogating this lie as they did in today's Washington Post. My gosh, the general election campaign is hardly even underway and these scumbag Democrats are already exhausting me with their lies and pathetic desperation tactics.

1 posted on 02/03/2004 2:24:53 PM PST by MikeA
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To: MikeA
Good Find, I am battling a 55 yo V-Nam vet(DEMO) with this,
2 posted on 02/03/2004 2:30:27 PM PST by cmsgop ( How Come Vic Tayback Never Won an Oscar ???????????????????????????????)
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To: MikeA
It will only get worse.....they have no they will lie .....cheat ......smear....scare....they hate this Preisdent like nothing I have ever seen.

This hate will only grow as the election just watch.

3 posted on 02/03/2004 2:34:55 PM PST by Dog
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To: MikeA
It seems obvious that the Democrats realize what is headed their way when they nominate the traitor John Kerry to lead their charge into November. They really have no choice but to attack GWB's military background, because as the Democratic nominee, Kerry will be clobbered on this issuse. However, the Democrats should be very wary of trying to show an allegiance to the military when they ally themselves with the likes of Jane Fonda and other traitors of her ilk. Any person who has been in the military service under a Democratic Administration in the last thirty years knows these people despise the military almost as much as they do morality. These Vietnam veterans who support John Kerry are simply pouring salt into their old war wounds.


4 posted on 02/03/2004 2:45:22 PM PST by Muleteam1
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To: MikeA
BUMP for great freeping.
5 posted on 02/03/2004 2:46:45 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: MikeA
For the record.Type of Discharge: HONORABLE

6 posted on 02/03/2004 2:50:40 PM PST by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber!)
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To: MikeA
You know, Rush said today that if this is the Democrats' line of attack, it is laughable. It'll never work, Americans aren't going to buy it...the time to raise the issue was 2000, some tried and FAILED to make G.W. look like a deserter, and it really looks good for Bush if this is the best they've got.
7 posted on 02/03/2004 2:51:06 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat
I think Rush is right, but for a slightly different reason. Many Americans, especially those who have never served, don't know the difference between a "civilian" and a "veteran." The mere appearance of Bush in the flight suit and the Army jacket at Thanksgiving makes him look FAR more "military" than any number of references to John Kerry's old (and, I'm sure, well-deserved) medals. Those old medals---valor of byegone days---didn't do George H. W. Bush a bit of good vs. Clinton, and won't do Kerry or Clark a bit of good against a guy viewed as a "soldier's soldier," G.W.
8 posted on 02/03/2004 2:57:11 PM PST by LS (CNN is the Amtrack of news.)
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To: Dog
This story reminds me of the man who taught me to fly.

He was a retired Colonel who was an ace and had shot down migs in both Korea and Nam.

After he retired from the air force he did some instructing. I was his very first student. I remember having a bit of trouble with one fairly involved maneuver and I asked him how to do it. He said, "Just move the controls so the plane goes where you want it to go."

But the thing that blew my mind was that he nearly flunked out of primary flight school in the Air Force.

Like Bush he scored high on leadership and a bit low on natural flying skills. He showed me in his log book that it had taken him twice as many hours of flight time to solo as it had me.

He told me once that you could teach a chimpanzee to fly an plane. I'm not sure if he was referring to me or not. But I don know you can't teach leadership, keeping cool, and maintaining composure. And those characteristics is what it takes to make a great fighter pilot.

Good judgment and cool under fire beats fast reflexes every time.

9 posted on 02/03/2004 2:58:43 PM PST by Common Tator
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To: MikeA
10 posted on 02/03/2004 2:59:46 PM PST by kitkat
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: MikeA
I guess it's a matter of time before the Democratic party is rendered destroyed. They've got nothing else to run on, except scorched Earth hit pieces. Bush in 4 years has rendered them basically unelectable.
12 posted on 02/03/2004 3:03:43 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (All Our Base Are Belong To Dubya)
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To: MikeA
Yep...and if it was Bush that got the Silver Star in Vietnam for what some have called a war crime, I can guarantee that they would be attacking him for that. While I applaud Kerry's service and the actions he took in battle, if he was a Republican, the left would be calling this "war hero" a coward for murdering a wounded and retreating soldier. The hypocrisy of listening to Moore condemn Bush while he supports "General" Clark and defends "Lt." Kerry's war record, is unbelievable. These guys make heroes out of anyone who tried to avoid Vietnam...especially if they protested the US from foreign soil. Hey, maybe that's were Bush went wrong:)
13 posted on 02/03/2004 3:04:26 PM PST by cwb (Dean = Dr. Jeckyll exposing his Hyde)
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To: MikeA
The media has willingly and slavishly picked up this re-tread slander from the 2000 campaign

Would that be the same media who told us that Clinton's draft dodging wasn't an issue because it was a long time ago, and anyway, Vietnam was an unpopular war.

It surprises me that the dems are willing to slander National Guard service as somehow unworthy if not downright unpatriotic. Don't former guardsmen vote?

14 posted on 02/03/2004 3:06:20 PM PST by stop_fascism
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To: MikeA
Great info, useful for combatting the desertion BIG LIE.

It astonishes me that people can believe things like this which are so easily proven false.

Bush's Guard service also gives lie to the "he's stupid" bashers: stupid people don't fly F-102s (well, not for very long, anyway).
15 posted on 02/03/2004 3:08:58 PM PST by AminoAcid
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To: Dog
I find this tactic employed by the Democrats utterly pathetic. They were proven liars once, they think they'll skate through this time? I don't think so. It'll only get worse as the independent Iraq invasion investigation gets going.

Since before the Iraq war I was pleading with Republicans to let the Democrats do their investigating. Trust me, they'll be using the same intelligence that they saw when they pleaded with Clinton to bomb Baghdad in hopes of toppling Saddam. As with everything the Democrats do, they failed. They'll fail yet again.

16 posted on 02/03/2004 3:09:21 PM PST by BigSkyFreeper (All Our Base Are Belong To Dubya)
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To: MikeA
For those interested, below is my letter to the editor replying to the Post carrying the Democrat's water for them in today's attack piece on Bush, a slander now thoroughly discredited but that the Dems. are again planting in the media and their stooges are willing to print:

Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20071

February 3, 2004

To the Letters Editor:

Lois Romano's piece "Bush's Guard Service in Question" (Feb. 3, 2004), propagates unjustified innuendo in asserting that "a review of Bush's military records shows that Bush enjoyed preferential treatment as the son of a then-congressman, when he walked into a Texas Guard unit... and was moved to the top of a long waiting list."

While it is true Bush was moved to the top of the waiting list, it is not fair to leave hanging the implication that this preference was due to his father's influence or position. Indeed, a July 4, 1999 Dallas Morning News Piece "Bush's Stint in Guard Scrutinized" corrects this shop worn accusation by stating: "Officers who supervised Mr. Bush and approved his admission to the Guard said they were never contacted by anyone on Mr. Bush's behalf."

The article goes on to quote Bobby Hodges and General Walter Staudt, the surviving members of the panel that approved Bush's officer commission, as saying that Bush was moved to the head of the admissions list because he was one of the few recruits who could both immediately commit to the 14 month full time activity duty status required to complete pilot training as well as pass the officer written exam and the rigorous flight physical. Few other recruits could meet these requirements.

Along with these facts, a little more investigation by Ms. Romano would also have uncovered a July 2000 New York Times piece which after looking into Bush's military records exonerated Mr. Bush of dereliction of his Guard commitments. Bush made up for missed time, allowable under Guard regulation so long as it's completed in the same quarter which Bush did do, and absences were no where near as long as Col. Turnipseed's faulty memory claimed. Indeed, Bush reported for duty during many of these supposedly missed dates according to the records.

Such reckless charges against the president need to be more thoroughly questioned as what promises to be a very ugly, attack dog campaign by his opponents unfolds.

17 posted on 02/03/2004 3:10:03 PM PST by MikeA
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To: Common Tator
Good judgment and cool under fire beats fast reflexes every time.

It has helped President Bush, too, and will help in the months to come when the Dems trot all this crap out again!

18 posted on 02/03/2004 3:11:42 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: MikeA
My only question to the Democrats is this, since when is a military record so important to you? Many of you have spent a lifetime dodging, lying and ridiculing the United States Armed Services. The only military record Bill Clinton had was a letter of rebuke and loathing, and the dems have specifically said and defended his hatred.
19 posted on 02/03/2004 3:12:45 PM PST by Toespi
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To: MikeA
I have always found it odd that anyone would think that Congressman Bush would have much influence on the Texas Guard in 1968. At that time EVERY statewide office was held by a dim, and we had only two Republican Congressmen and one Senator along with a handful of legislators. No one cared what the Republicans thought.
20 posted on 02/03/2004 3:13:50 PM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (PEACE - Through Superior Firepower)
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To: Big Midget
>>If they're able to keep pounding that drum, it will undo any advantage Rove hopes to gain by painting Kerry as a peacenik.<<

Exactly. You said it better than me. I just think it is a dangerous drum for traitors to be beating.


21 posted on 02/03/2004 3:16:01 PM PST by Muleteam1
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To: MikeA
22 posted on 02/03/2004 3:16:17 PM PST by defenderSD (Contrary to rumors circulating on the web, I am not Silvio Berlusconi.)
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To: MikeA
Great find. Like you, I don't see how the Kerry vs. Bush military service angle can work for the DemocRats. Although Kerry served with distinction in Vietnam, as soon as he got home, he was ashamed of his service.
23 posted on 02/03/2004 3:19:37 PM PST by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: PeaceBeWithYou
I'd like to ask what others might consider a dumb question. I understand why the security clearance and service number are blacked out on this form, but why is the date of birth, height, weight, marital status or number of dependents blacked out? Does that seem weird to anybody else?
24 posted on 02/03/2004 3:23:36 PM PST by alwaysconservative
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To: MikeA
Early outs were quite common then, for purposes of entering school on time. My husband got out one or two months early for that same purpose.
25 posted on 02/03/2004 3:28:40 PM PST by Eva
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To: alwaysconservative
Maybe because we don't have a need to know. Why would it be important. Byt he way isn't Michael Moore responsible for this attack? Did Michael Moore serve? If so, where? When? What did he do? Would they have had a uniform to fit him? The military appearance part of the game Moore would fail. We take more pride in our uniforms and our appearance than he does. Sorry for that slam but...maybe Moore needs to be slammed too. Maybe he won't like it much.
26 posted on 02/03/2004 3:38:52 PM PST by cubreporter
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To: Eva
Early outs were quite common then, for purposes of entering school on time

Exactly right. I noticed the Dems not having a problem with AlGore's early out so he could flunk out of divinity school.

27 posted on 02/03/2004 3:47:00 PM PST by gatorbait (Yesterday, today and tomorrow......The United States Army)
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To: MikeA
Thanks for the info. Like Rush said, this is old stuff and it won't work.

28 posted on 02/03/2004 3:48:05 PM PST by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign visit for FREE STICKERS)
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To: MikeA

29 posted on 02/03/2004 3:49:23 PM PST by ChadGore (Bush 2004 HE'S EARNED IT)
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To: cubreporter
Re: Michael Moore

"""Would they have had a uniform to fit him?"""


30 posted on 02/03/2004 3:55:57 PM PST by kitkat
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To: Eva
Hey, Kerry got out early to run for Congress.

And he didn't run!
31 posted on 02/03/2004 3:57:35 PM PST by Hon
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To: MikeA
In 1971, Bush was wearing the uniform with pride, and serving his country. In 1971 (see "KerryNotASoldier_4.jpg") John Kerry was desecrating the flag, calling our troops baby killers, and siding with the North.


If this punk Kerry wants to make this an issue, I say bring it on. Clearly Kerry is on the wrong side of suorting our troops in the 70s, and he's on the wrong side of supporting the troops today when he voted, in 2003, not to fund their efforts.

32 posted on 02/03/2004 3:57:38 PM PST by ChadGore (Bush 2004 HE'S EARNED IT)
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To: LS
You're probably right...and, just to piggyback onto your last comment, G.W.B. will not have a hard time finding current and/or recently retired or discharged soldiers who support him enthusiastically.

This is a point the liberals in the press just don't get, I think: the military likes George W. Bush.

33 posted on 02/03/2004 3:58:57 PM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: MikeA
read later
34 posted on 02/03/2004 4:00:42 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Hon
You're kidding, I didn't know that. I can't imagine why the Democrats would be trying to make a big deal of Bush doing it, then.
35 posted on 02/03/2004 4:03:09 PM PST by Eva
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To: lepton; StarFan
36 posted on 02/03/2004 4:30:59 PM PST by Howlin (WARNING: If you post to me, you're gonna get copyied & pasted to LP!!!!!!!)
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To: MikeA
Aaaahhh! Excuse me .. 4 mos. in Vietnam is not equal to 22 months flying time. At least not in my book!
37 posted on 02/03/2004 5:01:36 PM PST by CyberAnt ("America is the GREATEST NATION on the face of the earth")
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To: Howlin
Well that should put matters to rest, but the dems will never get bogged down with facts. They will continue with their disgusting, despicable, pathetic tirade hoping it sticks. Will November ever get here soon enough?
38 posted on 02/03/2004 5:15:23 PM PST by StarFan
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To: Big Midget
"They really have no choice but to attack GWB's military background, because as the Democratic nominee, Kerry will be clobbered on this issuse."
"Don't you think that's exactly what all this AWOL/deserter talk is about?"

You are correct. This military service "drag up" is only to innoculate the democrats against the expected military/viet nam comments about Kerry. Ways to counteract:

1. Remind them of the comment Kerry made in 1991 (?) when comments about Clinton's non-service were mentioned. I don't have it handy, but it basically says "forget about it; happened in the past and shouldn't be used against Clinton". Look it up.

2. Have ALWAYS at the ready the various military aircraft Kerry would have taken out of service, his weakness toward foreign enemies, etc.

This country HAS to continue with a strong, fearless leader who is willing to take on the terrorists. I am not happy with the immigration thing and the size of the deficit, but these are problems that can be solved. Too many more 911's will put this country under permanently.

39 posted on 02/06/2004 10:25:36 AM PST by Maria S ("I will do whatever the Americans want…I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid." Gaddafi, 9/03)
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To: MikeA
40 posted on 02/06/2004 10:27:05 AM PST by mathluv (Protect my grandchildren's future. Vote for Bush/Cheny '04.)
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To: Big Midget
Here's something for you:

Speech of John F. Kerry - Page S2479 Congressional Record
Rush Limbaugh ^ | February 27, 1992 | John Forbes Kerry
Posted on 02/04/2004 7:05:39 PM CST by windchime
Mr. President, I also rise today--and I want to say that I rise reluctantly, but I rise feeling driven by personal reasons of necessity--to express my very deep disappointment over yesterday's turn of events in the Democratic primary in Georgia.
I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way. By that I mean that yesterday, during this Presidential campaign, and even throughout recent times, Vietnam has been discussed and written about without an adequate statement of its full meaning.
What is ignored is the way in which our experience during that period reflected in part a positive affirmation of American values and history, not simply the more obvious negatives of loss and confusion.
What is missing is a recognition that there exists today a generation that has come into its own with powerful lessons learned, with a voice that has been grounded in experiences both of those who went to Vietnam and those who did not.
What is missing and what cries out to be said is that neither one group nor the other from that difficult period of time has cornered the market on virtue or rectitude or love of country.
What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a Presidential primary.
The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our Nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation.
We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?
Are we now to descend, like latter-day Spiro Agnews, and play, as he did, to the worst instincts of divisiveness and reaction that still haunt America? Are we now going to create a new scarlet letter in the context of Vietnam? Certainly, those who went to Vietnam suffered greatly. I have argued for years, since I returned myself in 1969, that they do deserve special affection and gratitude for service. And, indeed, I think everything I have tried to do since then has been to fight for their rights and recognition.
But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard. To divide our party or our country over this issue today, in 1992, simply does not do justice to what all of us went through during that tragic and turbulent time.
I would like to make a simple and straightforward appeal, an appeal from my heart, as well as from my head. To all those currently pursuing the Presidency in both parties, I would plead that they simply look at America. We are a nation crying out for leadership, for someone who will bring us together and raise our sights. We are a nation looking for someone who will lift our spirits and give us confidence that together we can grow out of this recession and conquer the myriad of social ills we have at home.
We do not need more division. We certainly do not need something as complex and emotional as Vietnam reduced to simple campaign rhetoric. What has been said has been said, Mr. President, but I hope and pray we will put it behind us and go forward in a constructive spirit for the good of our party and the good of our country.
I thank our distinguished manager of the bill and the Senator from Delaware.
41 posted on 02/06/2004 10:31:06 AM PST by Maria S ("I will do whatever the Americans want…I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid." Gaddafi, 9/03)
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: MikeA
Another example of elitism. Why in the world do these media elitists who never served period, try to discount anyone that was in the reserves? If you serve your country it doesn't matter what branch, or whether you were a reservists or on active duty, you serve your country.

These are the same lamebrains that when Clinton's lack of any military service was questioned, came to his defense by claiming that Nam was an illegal war and at least he did't flee to Canada.

43 posted on 02/06/2004 10:57:02 AM PST by ODDITHER
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To: MikeA
44 posted on 02/06/2004 11:13:17 AM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: Owl_Eagle
best yet
45 posted on 02/06/2004 11:14:43 AM PST by Tribune7 (Vote Toomey April 27)
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To: cmsgop
Tell your vet friend that there was NO WAY GWB was ever going to Vietnam as a fighter pilot, unless he joined a F-100, F-105 or F-4 unit.

He even stood a better chance going to Vietnam if he was a SPAD pilot (A-1E/H)

Notice on his discharge papers his AFSC (or MOS for you Army/Marine guys) is 1125D - Pilot, Fighter Interceptor. in AF terminology, that's a whole lot different than, Pilot, Tactical Fighter or Pilot, Multi-Engine Jet. At least it was back then.

The Duece (F-102) had a extremely limited role in Vietnam. The Duece is a interceptor, not a multi-mission aircraft. Limited fuel capacity and limited weapons. I believe they carried 4 nuclear tipped Genie's or 4 crappy AIM-4 Falcon AAM's with a provision that some shmoe rigged up for 2 AIM-9's on improvised inboard wing racks, but I'm not sure about that. No bombs, napalm, SUU-20 gun pods, laser designators or none of that stuff. The weapons were carried in a weapons bay beneath the fuselage and had the fastest opening hydraulic doors you've ever seen (except for the F-106). The Duece was supposed to protect US air bases from incoming MiG's, which of course never happened. I'm not exactly sure, but the Duece spent about a year or so in country, at DaNang, Bien Hoa and Tahn Son Nhut and were later withdrawn and the remaining serviceable planes were converted to QF-102 target drones.

The F-104 and F-106 also had very, very limited roles. I don't even think the Dart (106) even went to Vietnam. Even the F-101's role was limited to recee, as the single seat RF-101C until the AF was able to fit all the camera's in the F-4. Then those birds were retired to Guard and AF Reseve outfits.

I was unfortunate enough to be on the crash recovery team in 1974 when the CO of the 189th Tactical Recon Group, Arkansas ANG, bought the farm a half-mile from the outer marker, Little Rock AFB, on his retirement flight. He was flying a warhorse RF-101C and the group was to stand the 101 down and become the 189th Air Refueling Wing.

46 posted on 02/06/2004 11:15:04 AM PST by Duke809 (704th TASS, out of business since 1984)
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To: Tribune7

Until someone can produce the orders from Cent Com denying him the transfer from Texas to Alabama, this is all pointless speculation.

Thanks for remembering this Trib!



”Guns Before Butter.”

47 posted on 02/06/2004 11:27:28 AM PST by South Hawthorne ("24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.")
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To: MikeA
48 posted on 02/10/2004 7:22:44 AM PST by baseballmom
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To: PeaceBeWithYou
49 posted on 03/13/2004 6:11:55 PM PST by southland
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To: MikeA

A -fascinating- article that desperately needs a bump! It completely blows away the "Bush jumped the waiting list" smear, wbich is one of the most believed smears against Bush - even most Republicans believe it!



50 posted on 08/29/2004 2:48:00 AM PDT by Qwinn2
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